Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fairy Tale Fortnight Giveaway Hop [CLOSED]

Hey guys! It's a giveaway hop! This one is hosted by I Am a Reader, The Book Rat, and A Backward Story. When I saw that the theme was fairy tales, I knew I had to sign up, because fairy tale retellings are one of my favorite kinds of stories. It was hard to choose what to pick, but I went with...

Cruel Beauty and the novella Gilded Ashes by Rosamund Hodge! Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairy tales, so I knew I was destined to love Cruel Beauty. However, since I don't like Cinderella that much, I wasn't sure how much I would love Gilded Ashes. I had nothing to be worried about though, as I loved it.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.
Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.
With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.
But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.
As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

Orphan Maia doesn't see the point of love when it only brings pain: Her dying mother made a bargain with the evil, all-powerful ruler of their world that anyone who hurt her beloved daughter would be punished; her new stepmother went mad with grief when Maia's father died; and her stepsisters are desperate for their mother's approval, yet she always spurns them. And though her family has turned her into a despised servant, Maia must always pretend to be happy, or else they'll all be struck dead by the curse.
Anax, heir to the Duke of Sardis, doesn't believe in love either—not since he discovered that his childhood sweetheart was only using him for his noble title. What's the point of pretending to fall in love with a girl just so she'll pretend to fall in love with him back? But when his father invites all the suitable girls in the kingdom to a masked ball, Anax must finally give in and select a wife.
As fate would have it, the preparations for the masquerade bring him Maia, who was asked by her eldest stepsister to deliver letters to Anax. Despite a prickly first encounter, he is charmed and intrigued by this mysterious girl who doesn't believe in love. Anax can't help wishing to see her again—and when he does, he can't help falling in love with her. Against her will, Maia starts to fall in love with him too. But how can she be with him when every moment his life is in danger from her mother's deadly bargain?

One winner will be winning ebook copies of both, so enter below! It is INT, and rules can be found under the Terms and Conditions in the Rafflecopter. Good luck!

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Faith Departed {by Elizabeth Maddrey}

Title: Faith Departed
Author: Elizabeth Maddrey
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Starting a family was supposed to be easy.
Twin sisters June and July have never encountered an obstacle they couldn't overcome. Married just after graduating college, the girls and their husbands remained a close-knit group.
Now settled and successful, the next logical step is children. But as the couples struggle to conceive, each must reconcile the goodness of God with their present suffering.
Will their faith be strong enough to triumph in the midst of trial?

This isn't really what I normally read, being women's fiction instead of YA. However, I liked the different perspective and the story. Reading about married adult women was very different than reading about teenagers, in that I couldn't really relate to them yet. This story did take me a while to get into it at first, but once I did, I breezed through it.

I will say, June kind of annoyed me. Although we get perspectives from all four characters--June, her twin July, and both of their husbands, Toby and Gareth--we see the most from June. I think there was a part where Toby said June was acting like a petulant teenager. Yeah, that's how she felt throughout most of the book.

I realize that I cannot even begin to imagine what June is going through. Trying to get pregnant and failing, dealing with crap at work, and now her twin is hiding things from her. But at the same time, I felt like June made so many bad decisions from selfishness. She blamed everyone else for not seeing things her way, especially Toby, who bore the brunt of things.

Surprisingly, I think I understood/related to Toby the most. But then, I've always joked that I'm going to be the "guy" in my relationships (sorry future hubs). I did like that we got to see perspectives from both his and Gareth's point of view, as it added more interest and dimension to the story.

This was a very deep and spiritual book, yet realistic. Although maybe I personally can't relate because I'm not there yet, this is definitely a book that I think lots of women can relate to. I don't feel like everything was completely resolved in the end, but it was still an enjoyable read, one that I would recommend if you are looking for some good, realistic spiritual fiction.

I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.
This review can also be found on   Rachel Marie's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Elizabeth Maddrey:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest | Goodreads

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

{Birthday Blogaversary Bash} The One Who Talks and Gives Away Things [CLOSED]

Wow. Today marks one year of blogging. ONE YEAR. It's a bit surprising that I've lasted this long with it, really. I had my other blog for about a year as well (what? You didn't know I was the HairNinja?), but I had pretty much quit months before. So the fact that this one is still going, and I have plans to keep it that way in the foreseeable future, is a big deal. There have been ups and downs, but in the end, I have absolutely loved every moment of this blogging experience and I wouldn't trade it.

So let's just talk about the past year, shall we? For those of you who didn't know, I started out with a co-blogger. Yep, that's right. Her name is Dallas, she's my very best friend, and...she ditched me. Understandable, considering we were transitioning into college, and she just didn't have time for it in her life. But then I had to learn how to balance this blog by myself and college and being adult all at the same time.

So, I'm going to share a few things I've learned over the past year. Bear with me, will ya?

It's your blog--do what you want
That is not meant in an arrogant way at all. What I mean by that is, only you can do YOU. You don't have to look at other people, other blogs, other stats. I know I'm not the only one who feels like this. Don't feel pressured to post every day, to post only reviews, to join every meme, etc. Find the best fit for you and for your blog. It took me a while, but I feel like I finally found a rhythm. With school and work, I just can't read and blog as much as I would like to, and I have to be okay with that. I've just found a way to make it work.

It's okay to take a break
Some of you might remember, but back in November, I took a break. Before that, my posts weren't regular, sometimes didn't have the quality I expected out of myself. I was posting things because I felt like I still needed to, instead of just taking the break I needed. But when I finally let myself take a break, I felt so much better. And my posts after I came back were a lot better too. Even now, if I miss a day or week of posting, I have to tell myself that it's okay. In fact, when I've started expecting that it's going to happen the week I have an exam or a huge assignment due, I don't stress out as much.

Make friends!
Ah, this is probably the most important one and the one I've failed at most. Make friends! The blogging community has been so kind and welcoming and just plain awesome. I will admit, I suck at making friends, or just talking to people in general. So if I don't really chat much, it's because I'm not very good at it/don't really know how to. But I am super grateful for the awesome people I have met so far, bloggers and authors alike. I've discovered so many great books/authors I wouldn't have heard about otherwise!

Some notable posts:
Our First Reviews: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare by me; Leviathan by Scott Westerfield by Dallas
Viewer Favorites: Reviews: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan and Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke (kind of surprising)
Viewer Favorites: Short Story Sundays: Son of Sobek by Rick Riordan and Assassin and the Princess/Captain by Sarah J. Maas
Viewer Favorites: Waiting on Wednesday: Isla and the Happily Ever After and Percy Jackson's Greek Gods
My Favorite Reviews: Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
My First Guest Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green on Read.Sleep.Repeat
Notable Guest Posts: Meg Collett talking about writing and Mary Crockett talking about Sherlock
For Fun: A Reading Questionnaire Dallas and I did, and Our Graduation!

Well, that's enough talking. How about I just...GIVE THINGS AWAY! Yes, I think that's a great idea.

I decided go by categories, and give away a favorite in each one. So, the things I'm giving away are...
Look at all the pretties!
Contemporary: Y'all know (or you should by now at least) how much I LOVE The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. And, it just came out in paperback! So, I'll be giving away one of those, and the winner will get to choose which cover they want.

Fantasy: You guys should already know how obsessed I am with the Throne of Glass series. So, one winner will be receiving The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas!!! I am so jealous of whoever wins this. It's SO gorgeous.

Paranormal/Horror/Mystery whatever: I don't really read much in this genre, and I'm not sure what genre this book falls under, but I want to give one away because I love this series so I am so deal with it. One winner will be getting Hollow City by Ransom Riggs! (I got one of my real-life friends into this series, muahaha)

Dystopian: I actually just finished this series, and I loved it so much! One winner will be getting Champion by Marie Lu!

Retelling: Yes, this is a category, deal with it. I LOVE retellings, so it was hard to choose, but I'll be giving away Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen! It's amazing and Robin Hood and Scar and you need this book in your life.

All those prizes are US only because shipping, guys, but I wanted to have prizes for my INT followers as well. So I will be giving away some ebook prizes in categories as well:

For Contemporary, one winner will get BOTH The Romeo Club and Solving for Ex. Because if you haven't seen me flailing over these books, I don't know where you've been.

For Angel books (because that is totes it's own category), one winner can choose Angelfall OR World After 

And for Dystopian, one winner will get BOTH Destroy Me and Fracture Me

So, add these to the prizes already up for grabs in the big blogaversary giveaway, and that makes... 12 winners!! Gracious. That's a lot of winning! 

Some basic housekeeping, because I haven't really mentioned the rules before. The giveaway will run until the end of the month. The first winner chosen will get their pick of the prizes, the second winner will get their pick of what's left, so on. I realize this isn't ideal, especially for the last winners, but it is what it is. This also means, it might take a little while for the winners to be notified.
  • Winners will have 48 hours to respond, or a new winner will be chosen
  • Please check your SPAM folders
  • 13+ or have parent's permission, please
  • If your prize is coming from one of the lovely guest reviewers who provided a prize, your address will be shared with them and them only
  • We are not responsible for lost packages
  • The rest of the rules can be found under Terms and Conditions in the Rafflecopter
WHEW. Now that I'm done talking, enter below!

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

{Birthday Blogaversary Bash} The One Who Nerds Out About Quotes

Hello again! Today, I have Jessica from Fly to Fiction here to discuss what she nerds out about! So sit back, relax, and give Jessica a warm welcome! 

Hey everyone! Firstly, thank you to RachelMarie for inviting me to be a part of this awesome event! Happy Birthday and Blogoversary!

Secondly, I have to admit that when I learned about the theme of this post, I freaked out a little bit. Not because I didn't know what to write about, but because I had too much to write about! How was I to narrow down the things I fangirl about when there’s probably a list of a thousand or more things that I, in some way, fangirl/nerd out about. I could have gone the predictable route--books, movies, music, TV shows (this was such a huge contender). I could have talked about dance, which I can’t say is predictable unless you know me. But I've decided to write about how I nerd out/fangirl about quotes.

Yup, quotes. Quotes in books, quotes in movies, quotes from song lyrics, quotes from poems, quotes from TV shows, quotes from just about anything!

I love various types of quotes for various reasons. There are funny quotes that just make me laugh. There are deep, meaningful quotes that just make me think and that get to bottom of my soul. There are pretty quotes that are just so nice to read and say aloud. There are inspirational quotes that can get me through a tough time. There are quotes that just GET it, if you know what I mean. A short quote can mean so much and evoke so many thoughts and emotions, and I find that to be so incredibly powerful and amazing.

So I've decided to share some of my favorite quotes with you today! (Not in any particular order)

“They who dance find infinite golden floors beneath their feet.” - They Who Dance by Marjorie Allen Seiffert
As a dancer, this quote just speaks volumes to me. It gets at the core of what it means to be a dancer. If you truly love to dance, every floor can be a dance floor, waiting for you to dance on it. There’s just so much beauty in this portion of the poem and in the poem in general. This is my favorite dance poem, and this is one of my favorite quotes of all time.

“Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.” - Martha Graham
This has, particularly in the past year or two, become SO important for me. I need to remind myself of this--that dancers with great technique but no passion or emotion can only be so great; it’s the dancers that feel, that dance with a passion, that can’t imagine not dancing, that feels the emotions of a dance that are truly great. I constantly need to remind myself of this when I start to compare myself to other dancers and to my dance friends. I am a good dancer not because I’m good with technique and can do all the cool tricks, but because I dance with a passion. I put emotion into what I dance. I get into the zone when I’m dancing. I am connected to the music, the feeling, the floor, and the sky. And I think that’s what makes me a good dancer. When I start to feel my self-esteem dropping because of dance, I try to remember this. Yes, others are great in some aspects, but there are many aspects of dance that I excel at too.

 “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the lights.” - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
This is my go-to quote when I’m having a bad day or going through a tough time. This reminds me to have hope, and it’s meant so much to me as I've grown up. It will continue to be one of my all time favorite quotes.

“It is our choices…that show who we are, far more than our abilities.” - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
I love this. Yes, it’s another Harry Potter one (there are more below too). But this is so impactful in so many ways. You are who you choose to be. Your abilities can only take you so far. It means that you don’t have to be the smartest, the bravest, the best at something. Your actions can make you the better person. I think about this all the time when faced with a choice.

"We must try not to sink beneath our anguish…but battle on." - Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
So inspiring. This reminds me to keep moving forward when things get tough because there’s always a way out, you just have to push past the hard parts and get there.

“It take a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends.” - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
I love this quote for so many different reasons. Firstly, it reminds me of the different forms of bravery, and it makes me feel better about not being brave. Because I might not fit the conventional definition of brave, but there are moments when I think I’m brave in my own right. This is also one quote I go back to all the time because it reminds me that it’s okay to stand up to your friends. It’s not wrong. It’s just as brave to say it to a friend as it is to tell it to someone you hate. If that makes any sense.

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.” - Henri Nouwen
This just gets at the heart of friendship so well. Yes, it’s great to have someone that tries to give me advice, but for me, the people I’m closest to are the ones that just GET it. They’re always there for me, they understand what I’m going through, and rather than telling me what I should do, they just tell me that they understand. Because empathy is so important in friendships.

One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.” - Lucius Annaeus Seneca
This very similar to the previous quote. My two best friends are my best friends because they get me in a way very few people do. Perhaps they understand me in different ways, but they understand me and are always there for me. No matter their flaws, that is why they’re my best friends.

“Sometimes, you’re wrong.” - Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ Rule Fifty One, NCIS
This quote touched me in a way I never expected that it would. I doubt many people would find this quote to be spectacular, but it is to me. For me, this quote is so vital because it reminds me that it’s okay to be wrong and that it’s okay to mess up sometimes. It’s okay to let yourself be human. When I feel disappointed in myself, I think of this.

I won't be made useless I won't be idle with despair I will gather myself around my faith For light does the darkness most fear My hands are small, I know But they're not yours, they are my own - Hands by Jewel
I used to love this song so much--and for a good reason. This song means so much more than it appears to be about. There’s a depth to this song that I just can’t get over. I love these lines in particular because it’s about taking your life into your own hands. If you have strength and courage and just keep going, you’ll be okay. You are the only one that can do the things you do. You can be in control of yourself and your actions; you can make your own decisions.

Well, there you have it! These are only a handful of many quotes that I love and reflect on often. And I've also included some quotes related to other things I nerd out about, so yay! I hope that you may find one of these quotes impactful.

Thank you again, RachelMarie! I've loved sharing one of the many things I fangirl about.

Thank you, Jessica, for sharing those awesome quotes. I have a notebook that I use for random things that just has pages of quotes, so you aren't the only one. Which quote of the ones Jessica shared is your favorite?

And if you haven't already, enter the blogaversary giveaway below, or the Blind Date with a Book giveaways!

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

{Birthday Blogaversary Bash} The One Who Fangirls Over Retellings

We meet again, lovely people. Today, I am excited to have Meredith from Pandora's Books fangirling over something I am absolutely obsessed with as well...retellings!  If you know me at all, you know that I absolutely LOVE retellings, especially mythology and fairy tales. So, let's give Meredith a warm welcome!

There aren't many things I fangirl over. So when I DO fangirl over something, it’s because it’s epic. Today, I’m going to discuss one of the things I fangirl over: Retellings in young adult books. There are so many different types of retellings – based on mythology (Greek, Indian, Egyptian), fairy tales, classics, etc. I could go on and on. It doesn't matter what kind of retelling it is, I usually love it.

Greek Mythology Retellings:

I was in fifth or sixth grade when we first started studying Greek mythology in school and I fell in love with it. I've been fascinated with the original myths ever since, but I also love reading modern takes and retellings. Two of my favorite Greek myths are Persephone and Pandora’s Box (Hence my blog name!). I've read some amazing Persephone retellings – Meg Cabot and Brodi Ashton are just two authors who have done great jobs bringing this intriguing myth – about Hades and the Underworld – into modern day.

One of my all-time favorite authors, Heather Lyons, recently released a Medusa retelling. If you love Greek Mythology, I HIGHLY recommend it. It’s full of awesome and bursting with Greek mythology, not just Medusa.

I haven’t stumbled on any Pandora’s Box retellings, though, so if anyone knows of any, please feel free to share that with me in the comments!

Not a fan of Greek Mythology? That’s okay! Check out Amalie Howard’s The Alpha Goddess – it’s Indian mythology and it’s so amazing, I re-read it immediately after finishing it! (Literally... I finished it late at night on March 6 and re-read it right after on March 7).

Want to continue branching out? Kiersten White wrote The Chaos of Stars, which has Egyptian mythology. I was always intrigued by Egyptian Mythology, but never went out of my way to read retellings with it – until this book. The first half was a little slow, but the twists and revelations in the second half of the book will make your eyes bug out!

Fairy Tale Retellings:

I was a big fan of Disney and the Disney Princesses. They were all based on fairy tales, myths and legends. So I started off, at a young age, loving those things. Not to mention the fact that fairy tale retellings are also plentiful in the YA book community and I've read some wickedly amazing ones lately – like The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. The Lunar Chronicles is based on several fairy tales and includes a retelling of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White.

One retelling I read recently that merged Greek mythology with fairy tales was Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. While I didn't enjoy the book, I LOVED the combined retelling. It focused on the Persephone myth and the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. (Aside from Rachel here--I LOVED Cruel Beauty. But then, you should have already known that.)

Classic Retellings:

Recently, I've stumbled upon a lot of retellings based on classics like Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz. Now, I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t read the original Alice in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz. I do own them (I swear, I can send pictures as proof!) but I just haven’t gotten to them yet. But I grew up on movies, television shows and the kiddie versions of the books.

When I was growing up, Disney had a live-action version of Alice in Wonderland. I loved it so much! I also devoured the movie with Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp. Frank Beddor wrote an incredible retelling back in 2006, but I hadn't read any amazing retellings recently.... Until I discovered the INCREDIBLY TALENTED A.G. (Anita) Howard and her book, Splintered. Best Alice in Wonderland Retelling EVER. Seriously.. The world of Wonderland is creepily re-imagined and ... MORPHEUS. Yeah... MORPHEUS. Also, Jeb. Because even though I’m 100% Team Morpheus, I still like Jeb – And even if you hate love triangles, you will LOVE this one. Anita is just that amazing a writer.

Also in 2015? Marissa Meyer (previously mentioned for her Lunar Chronicles fairy tale retelling series) will be releasing a book called Heartless - “A prequel to ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ HEARTLESS will tell the tale of how a marquis’ teenage daughter became the infamous Queen of Hearts,” (From Goodreads). Umm..... SIGN ME UP!

With The Wizard of Oz, obviously I've seen the 1939 Judy Garland movie. I loved it as a kid – devoured it, honestly. I also loved, loved, LOVED the 1985 “sequel” with Fairuza Balk. This was an intriguing, darker story. Dorothy returns to Oz to find that it’s a broken mess. Honestly, Return to Oz is really what sparked my interest in Oz retellings. Seeing that darker, slightly less than kid friendly version of things? So, of course, I've been hoping for an epic retelling in book form – and I finally got what I wanted with Danielle Paige’s Dorothy Must Die. I’m currently reading it - I’m about 200 pages in and I LOVE IT TO PIECES. So, so, so much fangirling over this book so far. A darker Oz, Dorothy as the villain and every character you thought you knew... is nothing like they should be. Also, this is a trilogy! So, that’s an even bigger win!

Another classic retelling I've read – and loved – recently? Olivia Twisted by Vivi Barnes. It’s a modern retelling of Oliver Twisted with computer hackers. Sold? Sold! It was amazing and I loved it so much. I haven’t read Oliver Twist, but Vivi did a beautiful job of maintaining aspects of the classic without making it confusing for those who haven’t read it.

Other Notable Retellings:

Remember how I said I loved all retellings? That includes King Arthur/Merlin retellings, like Melissa de la Cruz’s recent release, The Ring and The Crown. It had magic, historical elements and epic characters.

Have you read anything by Claudia Gray? She wrote a story called Fateful. Guys, it’s the Titanic... and werewolves!!! Read it!!

So, case-in-point: Retellings are epic and will always intrigue me! I find them fascinating and I highly recommend you guys check out any (or ALL) of the books I mentioned in this post. Seriously, you won’t be disappointed!

Now, share with me: Have you read any of the above? What did you think? And if you haven’t, do any of the above intrigue you? Which ones are you adding to your TBR??

Thank you, Meredith, for that awesome post! One of my absolute always favorites is the Percy Jackson series, as well as the spin-off, Heroes of Olympus. I will basically read anything Rick Riordan writes. He also has an Egyptian mythology series, The Kane Chronicles. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen is an amazing Robin Hood retelling. One that I feel doesn't get as much attention is Kenneth Oppel's The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, which I love. Antigoddess by Kendare Blake is worth mentioning as well. And since I could be here for days listing awesome retellings that you should read, why don't I just redirect you to the awesome infographic that EpicReads made.

And Meredith has been kind enough to give away an ARC of The Here and Now by Ann Brasheres! So, thank her profusely and enter below! And if you haven't already, enter the Blind Date with a Book giveaways, which end in a few days!

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Friday, April 11, 2014

{Birthday Blogaversary Bash} The One Who Fangirls About Doctor Who

Hey guys! Today, I am so excited to have Stacee from Too Fond of Books on the blog, fangirling about one of my favorite things to fangirl over as well...Doctor Who! So, let's give her a warm welcome!

When Rachel contacted me about doing a guest post for her blogiversary, I immediately agreed. And after she told me that the topic was just about something I fangirl over, I knew what I was going to talk about. While authors and all things books are a major love of mine, there is only one thing that I seriously geek out about…

We found Doctor Who on accident. At SDCC in 2010, the Hubs and I went to the BBC America booth to see if they were selling any Top Gear merch. Somehow we got into a conversation with the girl working the booth about Doctor Who [Season 5 had just ended] and she said it was something we should check out on Netflix. It was something I filed away in my head, but never really expected to come back to.

Fast forward a couple of weeks. We turned on Netflix to find something to watch and saw that Doctor Who was being recommended. Figuring what the hell, we started Season 1 of the reboot with Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor. We ended up binge watching the entire season and Season 2 [with David Tennant] in a weekend.

And so started my love affair for all things Doctor related. I started small: a lanyard here or a pin there, but it quickly progressed to phone cases and keychains and anything I could get my greedy hands on.

We flew to London to see David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado About Nothing and waited by the stage door to get my playbill signed. I met Matt Smith at 3am in the morning on accident and literally ran into Karen Gillan later that night. We've been to the Doctor Who Experience and spent a small fortune on toys. My license plate says TARRDUS [because my MINI is bigger on the inside], Hubs and I both have Doctor Who tattoos, and my collection of Doctor Who shirts from Tee Fury takes up at least half of my closet space.

I will admit to not knowing all of the things about all of the episodes. I can’t tell you what Captain Jack wore in a certain episode and I can’t remember the specific details of everyone’s timeline. I can tell you that I want to correct anyone who calls it Dr. Who. Or that I love when people recognize River Song on my arm. Or that even though Ten will always be my Doctor, Eleven was the first one that I went through a regeneration with and I wept like a little girl.

The Doctor Who community is a lot like the blogging community. Everyone is eager to hear how you got started, what your favorites episodes, companions and baddies are [for the record: The Girl in the Fireplace, Donna Noble, the Weeping Angels] and who your favorite Doctor is. And while I’m relatively new to this culture, I love seeing other fans out and about. When someone recognizes something trivial to the non-watcher’s eye, it’s like a secret club.

So, come on over to the dark side. We may not have cookies, but we do have a TARDIS and that’s better.

Anyone else crazy jealous that she MET MATT SMITH AND KAREN GILLAN? I mean, I am. And her tattoo is super awesome. Thank you, Stacee, for sharing what you fangirl over! And don't forget to enter the blogaversary giveaway and the Blind Date with a Book giveaways if you haven't already!

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

{Birthday Blogaversary Bash} The One Who Loves Words

Hello, lovelies. Today, we have the lovely Jessica L. Brooks, author of Pity Isn't an Option and If I Speak True, here on the blog discussing what makes her part of the NerdHerd. So without further ado...

When Rachel called out for posts to celebrate her Blogaversary Bash and said the topic was “what makes me part of the Nerdherd”, I was flabbergasted, at first. Not because I don’t know what makes me feel included in that, necessarily, but because there are sooo many things, it was hard to put my finger on just a few. I ran through lots of reasons... books, fandom, writing... But no matter how hard I tried to put my finger on specifics, I kept coming back to… words.

Words are what ignite the NerdHerd. Adjectives. Adverbs. Nouns. Phrases. Descriptions. Feelings and emotions explained with letters that make up words that pull at our hearts and bring smiles to our faces and brighten our day and remind us of things out of the blue that only our fellow NerdHerd can understand. Words attach us to characters, to families, to experiences. Words paint pictures and create songs and tell stories long after we're no longer here.

We NerdHerds tweet and blog and rate and review and blather about books. Book-loving NerdHerds hoard book swag and drool over author news and wait patiently for book announcements and sympathize with characters and guess what will happen next (and even write fanfic). And what is required in order to share all of that information? Words.

Leaping hearts and falling stomachs and baited breath and trickling tears and all of those things we go through again and again and explain and write down and blog about and share… can only be possible with words.

So what makes me part of the NerdHerd? Five simple letters: W-O-R-D-S.

Happy Blogaversary, Rachel! <3

Thank you, Jessica, for that awesome post. What an interesting perspective, but so, so true. Jessica has also agreed to give one INT winner ebook copies of Pity Isn't an Option, If I Speak True, and the upcoming Flora novella, By Sun and Candlelight! Enter the blogaversary giveaway below, and the Blind Date with a Book giveaways if you haven't already!

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

{Birthday Blogaversary Bash} The One Who Nerds Out About Candy

Hey guys! Today, I am excited to have Celeste(Jess) from Reading Nook Reviews here to share about something that I'm sure is going to have us all drooling...candy! 

I’ll be honest: I’m a pretty big believer in snacks while I’m reading. I feel like nothing sets the mood for a book more than the perfect snack.

And I won’t lie - more often than not, I like to eat sweets while reading. So today, I’m going to give you my top five favorite sweet snacking choices, and some of the books that I like to pair them with!

5) Chocolate caramel balls

These are milk chocolate on the outside, and have a coffee caramel center on the inside. Believe me when I saw, they are amazing.

I typically bring these out when I’m about to dive into a dystopian novel. Something about the combination of chocolate + pep of the coffee gets me in the perfect mood to run away from evil governments or run toward a fight with my Alt.

Eat these while reading: Dualed, Divergent, The Hunger Games and Legend.

4) White chocolate yogurt pretzels

There are a couple of different flavors of yogurt pretzels out there, but I’m pretty partial to white chocolate yogurt pretzels.

There’s just something about the light creaminess that gets me in the right mood of energetic and mellow while reading, especially when I’m reading books which are set during the summer.

Eat these while reading: The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants, 17 First Kisses, and anything by Kasie West.

3) Caramels 

I’m a big fan of anything caramel, especially caramel candy. They’re creamy and chewy, and (weirdly) help me concentrate when I’m reading.

I love caramels especially when reading urban fantasy – it gets me in the right mood to believe that magical and fantastical things are happening all around me.

Eat these while reading:  The Rook, Neil Gaiman, and Maureen Johnson’s Shades of London series.

2) Fruit chews 

(Yeah, yeah – I had to have something relatively healthy on this list!)

Fruit chews work best for me when I’m reading non-fiction. It gets me in the right mindset to feel like I’m living life along the Mitford Sisters, living out a spy ring in Washington, or just reading about history.

Eat these while reading: GI Brides, The Mitford Sisters, The Irregulars.

1) Sour Candy 

If you follow me at all, you’ll know that I’m a HUGE fan of sour candy.

This is my go-to snack while reading just about anything. And seriously, if you've had sour skulls, you’ll know why.

Eat these while reading: ANYTHING! :)

In honor of Rachel and her blog, Tom and I are going to give away a gift box of candy from Andy’s Candy, with some of our favorite items!

The box will include:

1) A bag of sour skulls
2) A bag of chocolate caramel balls

And some other surprises!

(Of course, we can’t spoil everything for you, so we won’t tell you everything the winner is getting. But if you want a hint, check out Andy’s FB pictures at: https://www.facebook.com/AndysCandyStore/photos_stream)

Thank you, Celeste(Jess) for that awesome guest post and for that AMAZING prize. Seriously, go check out the pictures. Or don't, because you'll be insanely jealous. Enter the blogaversary giveaway below, if you haven't already, and the Blind Date with a Book giveaways!

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